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AP Exclusive: Kushner Cos. Filed False Documents With NYC

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“NEW YORK — When the Kushner Cos. bought three apartment buildings in a gentrifying neighborhood of Queens in 2015, most of the tenants were protected by special rules that prevent developers from pushing them out, raising rents and turning a tidy profit.

But that’s exactly what the company then run by Jared Kushner did, and with remarkable speed. Two years later, it sold all three buildings for $60 million, nearly 50 percent more than it paid.

Now a clue has emerged as to how President Donald Trump’s son-in-law’s firm was able to move so fast: The Kushner Cos. routinely filed false paperwork with the city declaring it had zero rent-regulated tenants in dozens of buildings it owned across the city when, in fact, it had hundreds.

While none of the documents during a three-year period when Kushner was CEO bore his personal signature, they provide a window into the ethics of the business empire he ran before he went on to become one of the most trusted advisers to the president of the United States.

“It’s bare-faced greed,” said Aaron Carr, founder of Housing Rights Initiative, a tenants’ rights watchdog that compiled the work permit application documents and shared them with The Associated Press. “The fact that the company was falsifying all these applications with the government shows a sordid attempt to avert accountability and get a rapid return on its investment.”

Kushner Cos. responded in a statement that it outsources the preparation of such documents to third parties that are reviewed by independent counsel, and “if mistakes or violations are identified, corrective action is taken immediately.”

“Kushner would never deny any tenant their due-process rights,” it said, adding that the company “has renovated thousands of apartments and developments with minimal complaints over the past 30 years.”

For the three Queens buildings in the borough’s Astoria neighborhood, the Kushner Cos. checked a box on construction permit applications in 2015 that indicated the buildings had zero rent-regulated tenants. Tax records filed a few months later showed the company inherited as many as 94 rent-regulated units from the previous owner.

In all, Housing Rights Initiative found the Kushner Cos. filed at least 80 false applications for construction permits in 34 buildings across New York City from 2013 to 2016, all of them indicating there were no rent-regulated tenants. Instead, tax documents show there were more than 300 rent-regulated units. Nearly all the permit applications were signed by a Kushner employee, including sometimes the chief operating officer.

Had the Kushner Cos. disclosed those rent-regulated tenants, it could have triggered stricter oversight of construction crews by the city, including possibly unscheduled “sweeps” on site by inspectors to keep the company from harassing tenants and getting them to leave.

Instead, current and former tenants of the Queens buildings told the AP that they were subjected to extensive construction, with banging, drilling, dust and leaking water that they believe were part of targeted harassment to get them to leave and clear the way for higher-paying renters.

“It was noisy, there were complaints, I got mice,” said mailman Rudolph Romano, adding that the Kushner Cos. tried to increase his rent by 60 percent. “They cleaned the place out. I watched the whole building leave.””

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AP Exclusive: Kushner Cos. Filed False Documents With NYC
AP Exclusive: Kushner Cos. Filed False Documents With NYC
AP Exclusive: Kushner Cos. Filed False Documents With NYC
AP Exclusive: Kushner Cos. Filed False Documents With NYC

3 Comments
  1. HoneySiegalSurvivor says

    Follow the money of a fictitious Honey R Siegel in Queen's New York Dept of Finance with Citibank linked to Trump Mar-a-lago CSC. Honey Siegal Stober not dead as created in the FED to fund the diversion debacle 3/19/2018 Day 2820 We The People Against Corruption Campaign To Remove&Indict Obamas, Janet Napolitano, Trump et al. Rule of Law violations the norm with no country and kickbacks. Kushner son-in-law https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTDl_i83Ti8 all 1 big joke with SNL accurate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1OJA2ADSEM Whole big con based on fraud against me https://www.youtube.com/user/HoneySiegalSurvivor/feed Discussion

  2. Bobby Black says

    So what. Obama gave Iran 1.6 BILLION IN CASH. That's a story, not this BS.

  3. Juan Rivera says

    Is anyone surprise ???? Kushner will be getting three meals and free cot soon !!!!

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